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tv   Book TV After Words  CSPAN  January 23, 2010 10:00pm-11:30pm EST

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first of all i want to see what a delight it is to be here this evening with tom fleming who to this audience needs hardly an introduction. his career spans about a half century. he has offered more than 40 books, fiction as well as non-fiction. he is to me and many americans america's greatest storyteller. he's been enormously successful, the winner of major awards for his books and his lifetime devotion to american history. i think we could spend the entire evening here all the time we have allotted just reviewing
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the numerous books and articles tom has written works on franklin, washington, jefferson, truman, fdr, american war, hamilton byrd will, the outstanding volume he produced to accompany a major 1997 pbs production liberty. of course the recent perils of peace which deals with the events after the surrender of the british at yorktown in 1781. a great personal memoir of your upbringing in jersey city which as you know is my home town as well so we have that in common. and so much more on the american revolution, the great leadership of george washington and his military struggles to achieve american independence and now the subject of tonight's conversation, the role of women in american history. we see this in fiction and nonfiction that you have
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produced over the years in the novels such as liberty tavern which came out in 1977 just to remind you of that, the difficulties in that book involving women of life during the american revolution. the officers' wives that came out in 1981 about three how west pointers and their wives to paraphrase about the resignation of these officers wives, officers' wives that's what we will be for the rest of our lives and it's called a wonderful story. the lives of our founding fathers, the infinite lives of our founding fathers, this incredible look that has just been published in the last couple of weeks i guess, the influence of when in and shooting of our history, women who work the mothers, wives, daughters, other friends of the founding fathers washington,
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franklin, adams, hilton, jefferson, madison, very different women enormously interesting in themselves providing the the material for the refitting stories of the founders as we have mentioned before in our conversations it is six books in one. as a result, i think that now we can conclude with all that you have done in your career we are at a new level of writing about american history and history in general. we are all the products of our associations. those individuals who've made our history and consequently have reached a level of interest as historical characters for books must be researched and written about within the context of their lives. their marriages, liaisons', all of their associations. they do not exist in any kind of a vacuum. you said in your introduction
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far from diminishing these men and women and examination of their intimate lives will enlarge them for all time. so let's get to the first question i have for you this evening, for your perspective, tom, what led up to the book that has now come out? >> what you got me going was this idea that i had written a great many books of the revolution, will look for a dozen and a mostly were concerned with the men and yet in my novels i have always taken a woman's point of view as often as possible i have always been fascinated by how women react to events and individuals involved in these and suddenly it hit me maybe this could be done because now -- i couldn't have done this back in 1960 when i first started writing books. but now more and more of the papers of these women have become published and whole
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feminist movement has become a part of our lives, so it seemed like a very logical thing to do in many ways and a possible thing to do. and then, barbara, i had a marvelous supplies. this book for me has been one surprise after another and the biggest surprise was the opening. if i may say so i think it is one of the best opening site ever had for a history book. i've discovered by sheer accident as you often do when you are doing research at george washington route a letter to a woman named sally fairfax in 1759 she was the wife of his good friend, not his best friend his good friend's neighbor george william fairfax. this letter suddenly was published in the new york herald which was at that time in 1877 when it was published was the biggest newspaper in america,
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and they called it a washington love letter and nobody could believe that it was real at first and then people who knew a little bit about washington's life and so forth the had been so very interesting biography published, they discovered he had written a letter four months after he had become engaged to martha who was incidentally the richest widow in virginia. and this caused consternation. they couldn't believe george washington could have thoughts for another woman and so, it was like a suspense story as we are probed to find out what happened in this letter and it turned out that the letter never saw the light of day. it was auctioned off some mystery man bought it and it disappeared for 60 years and then they founded by sheer accident in the files of the
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harvard library. so when i saw all of this i said to myself this is a book i was born too late. i've got to write this book and explain this and then i began to realize there would be other things to discover and explain about the other founding fathers. >> as a result of all the research you have done over the years and all of these things that kept coming at you about the women's papers that you couldn't have known about in 1960 when your first book came out its at this stage of your 50 year career this is coming out. >> guest: it seemed to be perfect book to write considering the fact i have published a great many novels by now and so i can -- i have a reputation and habit of the historian i've got to get the facts but i do have in a book like this and ability to think intuitively in different points. >> host: and at this stage. talking about george washington, the founder of our country, the iconic figure, the gilbert
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stuart image that we are used to comment, and i both went to grammar school in jersey city and every schoolroom had a copy, print of the george washington on the wall. this was in every school remain jersey cities of this is a kind of inspiration for me and i am sure for you. but he turns out to be much more of a human character, don't you think -- >> guest: much more so -- >> host: and door quote from a letter washington wrote after his marriage to martha to the english merchant richard washington, his name was that washington is now i believe fixed at the scene to delete concede mount vernon with a believable concert for life and hope to find more happiness in retirement than i ever experienced in a wide and bustling world. sounds like a pretty happy man to me. >> guest: again, an agreeable consort. it doesn't suggest passion or
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deep, deep love. and this is a problem washington had for the rest of his life. a lot of people felt his marriage to martha was a marriage of convenience. she was the richest women virginia as i've said and was looking for somebody to manage this magnificent estate she inherited from her late husband. and washington of course was a man of affairs. he'd been a comer colonel in command in the french and indian war and he was just about perfect in every way and incidentally was pursued by some of the richest man in virginia before she decided to mary washington. they were the same age but to the more you think about it, the more you watch what happened afterwards you realize there was a definite attraction and here is the most surprising thing i found was after more than a decade of a very happy married life, george washington was
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appointed commander in chief of the american army in 1775 and the first person he wrote a letter to when he got this assignment was to martha and the letter began "my dearest." >> host: and all it did? >> guest: yes. and so then i went back and looked at martha's papers and there was more fun writing to my dearest. now this is i think a pretty good tribute to each other and a sign that there was a very deep love that had taken root between these two people. and the reason is, barbara, martelle washington is totally and appreciated. i have said in the book and elsewhere we think of her as somebody's grandmother. when she married washington she was 27-years-old. she was very short, about 5 feet even that she had a wonderful figure, and also she had a
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marvelous this position. she was very self possessed woman and she could deal with men and charm them when she wanted to. she had a marvelous sort of clich. martha had it in abundance and washington slowly realized marrying her was the best thing he had done in his whole life and one of the reasons -- one of the as you mentioned, the mothers of these people are very interested and they are in the book, too. and george's mothered washington was almost as big as he was. she was a tall woman and had the most tremendous temper you could possibly imagine and her husband died when george was 11 and spent most of her time trying to get george to be a sort of surrogate husband, substantive for him and george was so thrilled he tried to join the british navy at the age of 14. >> host: to get away from her.
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>> guest: but then intervening was a wonderful man, lawrence washington, his half-brother who was at that time the master of mount vernon and fellows mojo miles away from washington and lawrence realized it was time to start in fighting this big, tall teenager up to mount vernon and he was about 60 when he started coming there and that's when he met sarah deily pacelli fairfax, this very flirtatious wife of the man in the house on the road and so for a dozen years sally flirted with him and tormented him and so forth and after he married and became engaged to martha she wrote him a letter saying are too impatient to see the campaign over so he could embrace mrs. custis and he, just
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this pleasing letter because he was about to march into the wilderness to fight the french and the indians and he thought maybe a bullet with my name on it and very probably might be and so he just couldn't resist. he wrote this pleasing for page letter in which he simply said do you love me as much as i love you? i just want to know that before i marched off to maybe get shot. and there was that letter sell the state for the rest of her life, so she, too, had i think a rather strong attraction to this tall muscular man. her husband was a little when the shrimp i might add. [laughter] martha also was not aware. george had a temper. he may have had his mother's temper. martha was it really aware of that. he did everything he could to avoid telling her that and there is a great story when he sits down to have his portrait
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painted by gilbert stuart, the most famous portrait painter of the time and gilbert stuart fancied himself something of an amateur psychologist and he mentioned holding back his temper you might want to share that story. it's a great story. >> guest: he did fancy himself as you agreed psychologist. he said general, i've studied your features and you were the physiography of a man of violent passion, and in the same limit the time was martha washington and she was knitting and listening and she became offended and said you take a great deal upon yourself, mr. stewart and stewart said madame, let me finish i was about to say that the general has those passions under perfect control. >> host: he really was a good psychologist than three >> guest: yes, he got out of a tight spot on that one. but then washington, he looked to washington hoping to get a
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positive response and a little smile across washington's face and he said he's right. [laughter] so you told about the 1877 letter. what's also interesting about that is that nobody seemed to be interested in it. it sold for very little money at an auction. >> guest: and i suspect the probability was there was a very strong rumor that jpmorgan had bought the letter thinking he was doing something patriotic. but we don't know that for sure so that is at best an interesting rumor. but the auctioneer announced it was sold for $13 which is really ridiculous. so it was a cover-up all the way because the man felt that washington's reputation had been damaged by this letter. but when you get deeper into the whole story of course you find out that that is simply not the case. >> host: his reputation seems to have changed with history.
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he was and i, right after his death. he, with the space nation particularly has jackson became president and american genre painting became quite popular, washington was shown in the sometimes apocryphal seems of interiors as a family after the centennial he was america's patriot. so things have changed as he -- >> guest: he had a slightly secret or not, there's no doubt about it in this time. but the interesting thing is he really needed martha of this time and people didn't realize this to the he was barely up in boston commander of the american army when he wrote her a letter saying what you consider coming up here to join me? now this, barbara, wasn't an easy thing to ask of a woman. she's down in mt. vernon, 400 or five 500 miles to boston and the roads were so abominable in
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those days and to cross a river you and your carriage and your were set to go on a flatboat and a couple of people pulled across the river and was a windy day and things were going that way and this way and people did drown quite often and yet she said i'm coming and she went up to join him and she did this every year for the rest of this eight year revolution. she journeyed up there every winter but she played a part not merely as a wife and someone to whom he could confide and he did tell her things and trust her with things he didn't tell everybody else but also she was a marvelous post this and washington was basically the leader of the country. we have a congress out there. there were a bunch -- the only guy that really mattered was washington and anybody that can to this country wanted to have dinner with him and washington really needed this charming woman at his table to make the
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conversation flow freely and so forth and she did that very straight through the revolution when he was a general and then again when he was president. was the very different situation than the case with benjamin franklin. these are at opposite ends, washington and franklin where we might question the story of whether washington was a lady's man and there's a lot in the book about that that i don't think we have a lot of time to go into, but there was a lot of questioning about whether he fathered this one or that one. >> guest: can i just -- your note this of course i have a chapter -- i tell a fairfax story but then i have a chapter called the author george washington scandals. and there's so many of these. people wanted to believe these stories about washington right straight through the revolution and long after he was dead. >> host: but you don't find proof of this. >> guest: they don't stand up to the historical examination but it's amazing how many people
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believe them. there were papers in the midwest in the 1870's who were printing statements from people saying yes, he was the father of thomas posey, the neighbor, the son of another neighbor at mount vernon and so forth and so on. why? thomas posey was 6-foot tall and a soldier in the revolution and people take the argument for resemblance for the weakest argument about the sort of thing and so it was interesting how that traveled with him but we do want to get on, don't we? on to ben. >> host: ben is hilarious, nothing short of hilarious. first of all he mary is deborah. deborah doesn't follow him anywhere, doesn't go to england when he asks her to come. >> guest: she didn't even come to boston. >> host: and she had a very sort of nasty temper and you can almost understand one aspect of this that she lost her own son,
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his name was frankie and therefore took a dislike to benjamin franklin's illegitimate son, william who had been bourn before they married, so she really -- know, where do you think -- there is a lot to say about franklin's wittman. but in terms of his place as a founding father, where does he fit in? where does his -- >> guest: other historians may not agree with this, second only to washington in creating the nation. even before the revolution gave americans a sense of themselves as a people. but his achievements and france in late 76 he became the ambassador without the aid that he procured from the french revolution would have collapsed within another year there's no doubt about it because congress was printing money and hoping
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for the best and pretty soon this money was worthless. they printed $200 million worth of paper money and the price of a horse which was like $200 before the revolution. by the 1780's the same horse cost $20,000. and so the revolution would have collapsed but at the same time unlike washington somewhat similar in some respects, but he had someone accusing him of being a playboy while he was ambassador to france that washington never had to cope with and that is john adams, another founding father. >> host: who was extremely nasty about it. >> guest: and was convinced that he was kissing and having affairs with women in paris and adams wrote these violent leaders backed to the congress saying his house is a sink of dissipation and so forth and so
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forth and franklin tried to call everybody down and said look, i understand i like to kiss ladies but french ladies like to be kissed. it's that simple and he tried to assure everybody nothing too much was going on. but no one believed him. and to this day he is a very bad reputation about what happened in france. >> host: she was the amiable sage and i have to quote this from the book because it is so funny. he greeted each one of them, the french went these were the french women surrounding him when he was in france with a kind of an amiable coquettish ms. as tom puts at. occasionally one madam or mademoiselle asked if he cared for her more than the other pursuers with a smile frankland would reply in his lending french yes when you are closest to me because of the power of the attraction which immediately
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reminded me when i was reading it and may have reminded you of this, to lack of a very famous song in the 1947 production of finance rainbows which goes my heart is beating witold the and it's all because you're here. when i'm not near the girl i love i love the girl i am neither. and that is exactly what he was saying to her. >> guest: franklin was also playing on his science with that, to back because he discovered the power of electricity and magnets and all that sort of thing since he was comparing himself to enactment and the woman being attracted and vice versa so they thought this made it even more thrilling the ladies did. >> host: he was quite a character. >> guest: we've got to tell the story what happened when jefferson came over to replace franklin as ambassador. the war had been won by this time and franklin decided he
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ought to go home so they sent jefferson over some jefferson and arrives in paris and goes to franklin's house and there is franklin on the lawn and three or four beautiful french women around him and they are kissing him, excuse me, jefferson finally raises his hand and says dr. franklin and he gets his attention and this would it be possible to transfer these privileges to the new ambassador and franklin says you are too young a man. [laughter] now, to me, that convinces me of what i've been saying that, you know, really nothing was happening. he really didn't do much more than kiss these ladies -- >> host: there was also no evidence and any other documentation that you found in terms of diaries or any other -- >> guest: absolutely not. >> host: -- that anyone else claimed to have been involved in. >> guest: not just by but one of my best friends of the franklin papers at yale told me that she, for 30 years, she read
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every diary and letters and newspaper story, anything that said anything about franklin and france she never found one line that suggested there was a serious liaison as they call it. >> host: said he was this amiable person peacekeeping from a wife who was kind of unpleasant back home. he had an english, possibly second wife. he lived in her house. he was very eccentric. he took what he called their bath to sit around the house nude for an hour every morning to take these air baths. >> guest: he was his own doctor. he thought that was healthy. >> host: he decides with a madam she should become his confessor and he confesses all of his sins to her. she then decides she will give him absolution and only if he will tell her using god, america
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and her especially her the chapter on franklin is nothing short of hilarious byplay with him and madame was his neighbor and a beautiful woman, a wonderful pianist and so forth and she was calling him [inaudible] but there's a wonderful story about this madame that shows a serious side of franklin. she discovered her husband was having an affair with her government's and rushed to franklin to pour out her broken heart to him. now if anybody was ever ready to be seduced at that point it was madame embrey yonah and franklin -- if subduction had been the name of the game as far as franklin was concerned this was his opportunity. instead he said you must learn to forgive your husband because
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revenging yourself against him only puts you on his level and he persuaded her that this was a spiritual challenge that she had to meet because for the sake of her children and marriage it's a very moving and touching scene and shows the site franklin he is and all the jokes. he knew there were serious felons between people. >> host: as you say he was second only to washington as a founding father so there is a very serious side and i guess this is the kind of release to get along with all of these ladies in england and france to relieve the tension almost of the things he was doing. >> guest: as part of it but also he understood something most people don't appreciate about the french at this time. these french ladies he was dealing with were all in the upper class or almost all, and they were into politics. they had these alarms where the best people came. so when he was charming then he
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was also a charming their husbands and their husbands had a huge influence and that helped things go more smoothly in the alliance between america and france said he was thinking politically as well as having a lot of fun and only franklin could do that. >> host: there's another side to these founding fathers which is almost heartbreaking really and when you get into the story of john and abigail adams i know that we have seen many recreations of their lives, books, television stories. you have a very, very serious side to this in this book. a real heartbreaker ego, fame, the whole idea of fame does permeate the lives of all the founding coffers in this book. >> guest: they were very aware famous what they were earning by founding of the country and
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incidentally that is not the same as you saw in the book, barbara. it's not the same as a celebrity. they couldn't imagine tiger woods for instance although he's a wonderful goal for and he deserves to win those that he gets the that isn't a as they understood. fame had to do with founding a country were defending it from invasion or something like that. really very serious and demanding eckert on the part of the man, and so that was part of the things that troubled john adams. he, too, had a very bad inheritance from his mother. her problem was probably she was a manic depressive. she used to go into these frenzies of housecleaning and then would go into a horrible depression for weeks at a time and john adams did this throughout his life. he had frenzied activities which he would achieve wonderful things like persuading people to
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vote for independence in 76. then the lead on would be horrible and then he would start to feel sorry for himself and then when he was depressed he would be envious of washington, franklin, and all these other problems would swell up so he was very fortunate that he found a woman who could call him down and get him out of these depressions, and her name as you know was abigail adams. >> host: and an amazing woman because she was herself so heart broken as he would go off and spend months even years away from her -- >> guest: he spent almost ten years in europe, staggering. and this is where you say the serious side. i showed that for awhile we would say the marriage was about to collapse. because hagel had a farm to run and was three children, one child with him and she was
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incredibly lonely and he was over in europe being wined and dined by the crowned heads and so forth, she wrote these violently angry letters to him and john being john wrote angry letters right back to her and a really was pretty wild for a while for at least a year. >> host: well, yeah, and he would write all the others are getting morals. george washington, who he helped promote as commander in chief -- >> guest: command of the army, yeah. >> host: so he goes off and fights the war. he's the famous george washington, the same with franklin and adams is being he thinks ignored certainly. >> guest: i have a busy explanation that comes later in the book but it might be worth saying now, john who was a potbelly a little by about 5-foot seven or so and he just didn't look very prepossessing and here he was up against these two tall virginians, washington six-foot tall and jefferson,
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6 feet two and he just felt i can't compete. >> host: and he didn't compete -- >> guest: well, he did in his own way. >> host: as a manic -- probably was a manic depressive, the description is such. >> guest: i can't be too hard on him because he was such an ardent patriot at the same time. but he paid such a price for it i think this is -- to we want to talk about that, too, barbara? >> host: between the two of them that is the kind of intrigue that i found. he called her portion of which is a very 18th-century portion from the merchant of venice they had literary names for each other during that time as they would write these letters. he absolutely adored her. absolutely adored her. either you have to come to me or i have to go to you for these kind of letters. >> guest: he wrote when he was vice president, yes. >> host: and yet he could go into these depressions and
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ignore her. he had a heartbreaking time with children dying and all sorts of things like that. >> guest: to of his sons, not many people know this but his two younger sons, charles and thomas, they both became alcoholics. they couldn't deal. it was in the family genes i'm afraid on abigail's side of the marriage as a matter of fact, but it was also this feeling they couldn't compete with their father's fame. it beat down on them and charles died in a crummy little house and york and john was in his last year as president and was so heartbreaking and thomas with a good deal longer but he, too, was an alcoholic and had to come home and live from hand to mouth. >> host: there are other famous americans, famous families, and often over the years often children just can't
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compete with the famous mothers and fathers -- >> guest: i've studied the presidential families to some extent and you saw that with the roosevelts for instance. i knew franklin roosevelt, jr. quite well, and he had a terrible time with that name. supposedly people were saying are you a clone of your father? he wasn't. he was trying to be his own and was a very difficult life he had. >> host: in that case it was franklin, eleanor and roosevelt so you have a mother, father extraordinary and you see this i think you see this clearly -- at adel adams was very hard on her children and would write these very strong letters to her youngest son, thomas, doing things pretty much accusing him of. >> guest: he was assuming he was being bad at harvard and he was working his head off doing as well as his older brother,
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john quincy, who was a genius so there is a lot of fascinating byplay back and forth. post total story about the audience. we've all heard the letter where he wrote where abigail rights during the independency discussions to remember the ladies reply. >> guest: of course of reading was that she wanted him to remember the ladies in the new government he was putting together. but instead, instead of a sensible answer, john was overworked and day and night struggling to get the country and declare independence. so he wrote back this release of the reply. basically laughed in her face and said my goodness, we can't do that because we would be completely subject to the tyranny of petty coach. >> host: and depend on it, we are not going to get into the ladies. we are subject to the petticoated.
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well hamilton is a kind of a different character, one that is kind of realized in this 21st century of political people who were very powerful affairs and all that and he actually goes and admits his affair to the world and that is a kind of unusual thing to happen in the end of the 18th-century. fiscal it was unique. it really was. >> host: what effect did that have on the presidency or on her? >> guest: what he was trying to do is defend his fame. hamilton was declared a a legitimate and his mother kicked his father held when he was about 8-years-old and then she's left with half the people on the island and so he had a very rough upbringing but this opportunity to achieve fame to him meant so much and he did
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achieve fame as a creator of the nation's financial system, the stock market and federal reserve system pr originally created the bank of the united states which was a forerunner. he had achieved his fame but his enemies led by thomas jefferson broke this story of his adultery but they claim he was also in business with a woman's husband and was slipping tips on the stock market and so hamilton in order to prove that he was still a man of integrity as a financier and secretary of the treasury he told the whole story of his adultery down to every letter the exchange and so forth and there was 95 pages long, this letter and people just laughed at him. it looked like he was totally finished. but i can't say whether he is. you've read the book, barbara but we don't know people have read the book come across this.
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it is an amazing surprise and this was one of the as i said the book is full of surprises and this was an enormous surprise to me as hamilton is a riding in this public shame and so forth into his house in new york comes a silver service from washington with a letter saying i just wanted you know that my regard for you remains unchanged and he basically said i still think you are a petri and man of integrity. >> host: and they had a falling out, too. so this is an amazing -- >> guest: -- in their relationship because hamilton didn't get along any better with the father's been hit with wives and women in general so they had a rather rocky relationship but washington was the man who could handle and i guess you could say could get the best out of him and he did get the best. the things helton achieved is
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absolutely amazing. he is the man who created the country we are today. this industrial superpower. >> host: it's amazing. and jefferson as another heartbreaker. that is the illness and the difficulty of childbearing all come home to you when you read about thomas jefferson and his real life and one of his daughters who was also the trail and ended up the same way. he really, with all the children that he had with martha he ends up with one. there were what, six or something? >> guest: six, four of them died when they were very young. and then the daughter, the second daughter, she died giving birth. he really did have a tremendous amount of heartbreak. it didn't have anything to do with his revolutionary war activities or anything but your
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heart went out to the man. >> host: in a sense it might have affected some of the things he was doing as a founding father. he was limited by his wife's hafed sometimes. he would set certain roles in government. >> guest: yes, i have this point he was about -- he didn't know what he was about to be asked to write the declaration of independence and he hadn't heard from martha back in virginia and he became frantic. he was writing a letter saying is she'll? i will come home immediately. he almost pact of everything and headed home to virginia only a few days before john adams came to him and said we want you to write this declaration which was his rendezvous with destiny. so it shows how important this book was to him in his life and of course that's another reason why he was so totally destroyed when she died in 1782. there was definite fear he was
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going to commit suicide he fainted away when she died and he walked up and down the room next to where she died in the library at monticello for three weeks he didn't sleep he just kept walking and would fall down and basically pass out. it was a nightmare and that is where and when you see the tremendous emotion he promised her, she asked him to on the left dead to be to -- death that. >> host: you have an interesting take on that came across to me as i read she herself had a stepmother and didn't want her children to have a stepmother. guessed she was unhappy with her stepmother, yes. >> host: she asks him not to marry again and tom has a little bit more of a cynical -- >> guest: she asked him not to marry until the children grew up which would have met and maybe
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another ten years but instead asked never to marry again and i see this as a very angry boreman, she felt she sacrificed her and her happiness to politics and the revolution. >> host: shia to skip from monticello with her children as they came flying -- this to the calgary can up the road. she had a terrifying experiences. so -- and i think this is where speculation and intuition, in that i think to some extent she blamed it on him. i don't think she screamed like a fish or for something like that but something bewailing inside her during these years. >> host: the whole notion of bringing up children in the 18th-century, childbearing, abigail adams had to bear at least one of her children alone, bourn did and she was home
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alone. >> guest: i think she had a midwife but he was in philadelphia >> host: martha jefferson's children one after the other were larger and larger, and i think she might have been even a diabetic. >> guest: i discussed this with some doctors and as a family tradition, it isn't anything written down that each child was bigger and bigger. this one doctor who was an expert told me that is a very strong sign of diabetes and of course they didn't even know dalia dee dee six sestak. >> host: there you were your life was just getting married and having children. >> guest: she became more and more ill and the sixth child was supposedly some people say 16 pounds but she never recovered from that birth. it was a very sad story. >> host: at the same time dolley madison, who never had any children with james madison.
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maybe we can almost -- her whole life was that of the hostess with the mostest, she was this early character who did so much. >> guest: you can't help but love dolly and she comes at the end of the book and casts like a globe of feminine achievement if i may call it that over the whole book. she really does she created the role of the first lady. martha washington was very important with jefferson and abigail but nobody called them the first lady. but dalia was a crucial player in madison's life that was almost normal to stop calling her the first lady and to give you another example on that when he was running for president people were putting out the worst, the most vicious stories that he was supposedly renting dolley out to congress said they
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would vote for him and so she had the most marvelous ability to deal with the slanderous stories. if abigail adams restore like that she would have gone berserk. but dalia just smiled and said they are only trying to wound my sensibility and she just went right off spiraling away. >> host: she took friends to carry on about her husband and said this was great theater or something -- >> guest: there was one guy named john randolph who ran against madison in the house of representatives so she brought groups of women and they would sit in the gallery and watched and they would leave and that night at dinner dolley would say this is as good a show and that reduced rate of politically speaking about that tall. but the one story i love the most is when he won the presidency the first time the losing candidate was from south
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carolina, she said i would have won if i was campaigning against mr. madison alone but against mr. madison and mrs. madison i never had a chance. >> host: so it's all true. the most wonderful story about her which we know a little bit about is how she rescued the painting of george washington, the gilbert stuart, it is actually the lansdowne, the big portrait of george washington that hangs in the east room today and she rescued that during mr. madison's war of 1812 along with as he told her to rescue his public papers, a set of china, a set of silver which she had to waggon -- >> guest: with the british marching toward the white house. >> host: and she's not leaving the white house, she has ordered the staff to make her donner. >> guest: the whole american army ran away but dalia said if
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i had a can and i would put one in each window of the house and fight to the end. >> host: said that is a little more than a hostess, isn't it? >> guest: she was an extraordinary woman in that respect and would keep her head in situations that most people, not just a woman but a man would be completely upset and lose all contact with reality but not her and also she played such an important role in madison's life in a disaster like this there was talk after the british burned the white house capital and major buildings the was talk of assassinating madison and he became a rather heated president but when dalia went out on the street people saw her and they cheered. >> host: she rescued him. he was a bland person. >> guest: he wore black all the time, he had a very soft wastes and was very charming and
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pride but with the public he became a recluse except when he went to a dinner party dolly was giving and then she was the presiding genius of the table and madison, too, would open up and could tell very funny stories, quite a few of them of color. >> host: and she is also responsible as you point out, responsible for saving washington, d.c. as the capitol. >> guest: yes, yes. >> host: it might have been here in philadelphia. >> guest: this would be the capitol it wasn't for dolly, you might hold that against her but after they burned in washington the congress voted 3-1 to move back to philadelphia which had been the temporary capital before they came down there and dolly who literally created the city, don't you agree? she really did make it come alive with her marvelous ability to charm everybody, the
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diplomats and the newcomers and congressmen and so she went to see -- madison said this is not going to happen so dalia started giving dinner parties. >> host: at the octagon house. >> guest: yes, which is still standing in washington. it's worth taking a look at. >> host: yes the mendicant is it that. >> guest: so after three or four months of her party's, congress then takes another vote and they vote to stay in washington. >> host: so they've rebuilt. let me see if we can sort of have some fun here and talk about a little quiz for you. >> guest: i can't guarantee to get 100%. >> host: you get 100% in my book. who do you think was of the five founders, the women, excuse me the founders the women they were mostly involved with who is the smartest of the ladies? for >> guest: i think this artist
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was a abigail adams beyond all doubt. she was a true intellectual. she read serious books and could talk about ideas most of the other women simply were not interested in but if it came to who was the smartest politician to get another word to that, dalia takes the prize. there's no competition. she was a magnificent politician >> host: so my second question was who was best at increasing her husband's fame. >> guest: dalia because his family would have gone down the tubes if it weren't for her. he probably would have been impeached add to the burning of washington but she was the one that would hold the critics at bay so she did the most. but again, and abigail adams
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also had a lot to do with getting jaundiced ability to achieve -- >> host: madison at the same time as very bright. the constitution and all -- >> guest: it created the constitution, yes. >> host: there is a perfect example of somebody who would be hiding in a corner despite his great talent without the support of his wife so this is an important context will aspect of medicine's life. she would be no where -- we give him credit for saving the george washington but there is 30 other things. >> guest: saving james madison, too. vandals touching the last years of the life she went back to multiple villere and mr. washington terribly. she loved the social life of washington but she stayed there with him the next 25 years at
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least and helped him get his papers and got to the point he couldn't bear to be away from her more than a half hour at a time. his dependents and love for her was so intense. it was very touching. but then i think we ought to tell the audience dolly did get back to washington after madison died she saw mont. went back to washington and was a sensational all over again. every dinner party, he couldn't wait to get her in the white house and talk to her because she knew everybody. she had a tea with martha and george washington and this was now 50 years back. she was a sensation of washington for three or four years and then her health failed but i like this, when she died the president declared a day of national mourning act.
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if there was the chief to a famed -- woman who achieved fame she was. >> host: got together and can point to build the washington monument. >> guest: i almost forgot that, that's another attribute dolly performed. the washington monument was stalled. there were not raising any money for it and dalia took charge of the campaign and then you listen with hamilton came to washington to stay with one of their daughters. i think she only had one daughter alive at that point and she was 90 yet this time but had to vote on her life to make sure hamilton was part of the major funding fathers so she collected all the papers and so forth and i think she felt deep gratitude to washington for that silver service, his public forgiveness of hamilton and so she pitched in with dolly and these too grand ladies i guess you could
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say, they presided at this re-dedication of the washington monument which then took a few more years to finish. but it was their doing. and i like that touch. everything coming full circle. >> host: and it also s shows she was a great hostess' but was interested, deeply interested in american history and in the founding and in washington and all of that. >> guest: she appreciated all of that. >> host: rate the marriages. >> guest: that's a good one. i like to say a thing washington's was the happiest of them all in the sense that it was a circassian most of the time. martha was wonderful keeping this man who called and content and happy and he loved her dinner parties and all that sort of thing.
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he didn't expect to have a happy marriage, washington. she was like a gift from heaven to him so he appreciated her more than the other founders, too. >> host: even more than madison? yeah may be equal. but washington i don't think that he had certainly felt martha played a very central role in his life. we have one more story at the end of his life and that is the letter he wrote to sally fairfax the end of his life. don't you think that is worth telling? >> host: siloed flake. >> guest: again it shows how martha please a part. he found out after he left the white house is a relative of sally's was going back to england where she was living. she left america in 1773. so he wanted to write a letter so he wrote and the man said i would be glad to take. so he wrote this letter saying all sorts of things that happened but it's much too complicated to get into. i just want to tell you one thing. the moment i spend with you were the happiest of my life and then
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in the same letter he put in a long letter from martha. i love that. >> host: also coming full circle. >> guest: yes, coming full circle. >> host: well, this has been fun. >> guest: delighted to chat with you, barbara. >> host: tom, thank you. we would like to open up for some questions. we are going to entertain some of you would like to step up to the microphone and present -- expected the white seven strong relationships, did they know each other? >> guest: very good question. did the wives have a strong relationship between them. yes, dolley madison and martha washington were a difference in ages but they were very friendly and in fact there is a story which again is and truly documented which drives
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historians creasy but it's a probable story that she told dolley that she ought to marry the man dolly was calling it a great little madison. he was famous when he started to woo dolley in the 79 fees'. so they were very friendly and abigail adams was also very friendly with martha while she was the life of the vice president and she has a marvelous if anybody knows what of the deal looks like she was thin as a real but was charmed and rode back to one of her sisters and woman to woman she said her figure is much better than mine. [laughter] so yeah the was a very strong friendship there, too. but the other whites franklin never met any of these people were jefferson's wife but eliza
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hamilton was a favorite when washington was president the it donner quite often at the executive mansion in philadelphia and washington was very fond of her so there was some back-and-forth feelings between these women. >> host: in certainly the case with eliza hamilton and dolley madison with the washington monument. >> guest: another, yes. >> host: are there any other questions? >> i'm the author of a book about the women in the valley forge encampment called following the drum and i wanted to make a couple of comments about the relationship between general washington and mrs. washington because lafayette says of martelle washington she is mad about the general which i think is a wonderful new comment. >> guest: she is what?
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>> mad, m-a-d about the general. and also greenup comments they are happy with each other. >> guest: i'm very familiar with general greenup's comments. islamic finally, general washington science and one of his letters to martha washington, your entire george washington. i think that is extraordinary. any one of us would have loved to have a letter signed like that by our husband. you're entire george washington. [laughter] >> guest: thank you. those are very good points there. and again, it shows how prominent these women were in the minn's -- men's lives. some cold was george washington when they married? >> guest: 27. there was a slight difference, so he was quite a spectacular
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looking fellow. ..
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elizabeth-- william franklin was married to a british woman and she was very dependent sweet woman. he really did love her and they had no children, and she persuaded him more than anything to remain loyal to the king and this really broke franklin's heart. he loved this young man so much and he saw him as possibly becoming a man second only to george washington in the history. n.t. could it then. he was a terrific speaker and the head presence and he was the loyal governor of new jersey before 50 years before the revolution. if he resigned and said i am joining the men of 1776 he would have rocketed to the top i think. but he didn't. he just remained, he let his wife persuade him to remain loyal to the king, and i say in the book this i am sorry i fear is the only woman in frank
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impossible life that he hated. he could not forgive her for taking his son away from him like that. and, so when he went to france william was arrested not long after that by the patriots of new jersey. no, before that he was arrested by the patriots of new jersey and he was thrown in jail in connecticut, and his wife had to retreat to new york and about a year later, she died there friendless and alone according to the book really. it was a very sad and tragic thing in franklin, nobody in the franklin family tried to help her. i have a, it is a chapter not in this book but another book called revolution breaks hearts and this was one of the examples of how the revolution broke franklin's harten then it broke william franklin's hart when his wife died that way. fassil this is such a great
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example of how this whole relationship of the women and their lives made such a difference and how they were operating. the whole context of their lives. >> guest: when you finish reading this book, i think he will never be able to think about the family flaws as solo operators. the warrant, that is all there was to it and women were crossing through their lives constantly from beginning to end. >> host: not to mention their daughters. their heartbreaking stories of adams' daughter who dissector raid very difficult marriage, a husband who was constantly having financial problems that the made for himself and then she gets a terrible case of breast cancer and dice miserably in those days. so, and of course jefferson's young this daughter who broke him up. she was adorable. she went to live with abigail
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adams for a while. >> guest: she was on her way to see your father in paris. >> host: she carries on and says i don't want to go to him. she says to abigail adams, i was just beginning to love you. >> guest: she was nine years old at the time. that is a very interesting clue to live in the jeppesen family i thank. somebody said maria was the identical cologne or you might say that exactly like her mother, and we know very little about martha washington and your relationship with jefferson but we do know a lot about maria and she was temperamental. she had to have for own way all the time. and, jefferson loved it. he loves to give maria her own way and he wrote about, maria got a letter from abigail who was in london with john. he was the ambassador of london
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and they called maria poly sometimes. she opened the letter and jefferson wrote she-- because it was abigail this woman that she had grown to love and then her face white and as she read the words and then it began in jefferson, he was just adoring this whole thing, the femininity of it all. he liked feminine women. >> host: are there some other questions? >> in your book you mentioned officer fleming hanil demand teaching alexander hamilton all the ways of being successful in the military so i am wondering whether if your dna were examined how would it compare with that fleming? [laughter] >> guest: i wish i was related but i am not.
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and, but now i am sorry to say i may be getting a little confused here at the end, but what role did you say he played in hamilton's life? >> the buck mentioned that this british officer by the name of fleming in your charge, dung alexander hamilton, the ways of how to be successful in the militia. >> guest: yes, yes, he was an officer in the army, yes. i remember him now. he is only on one page. yes, we'll know he is no relation of mine but then jefferson's closest friend in virginia went to college, the college of william and mary but unfortunately my fleming's came over on the boat from ireland and 1880 so i can't claim either one of these flemmings. >> host: some others? we would like to thank you all very much especially tom for
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giving us some wonderful, rivan ting stories and stories that we really can't forget, so thank you very much. >> guest: thank you. [applause] thank you very much. >> it gives me great pleasure and i know you all share my pride to welcome here tonight the administrator of the environmental protection agency and a champion of our lands, lisa jackson. [applause] >> wow, thanks bob. what an intro. you can intro meet any time. any time. i'm not going to take a long time here this evening. i just wanted to a couple of things. the first is to thank you bob
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and thank you frances for the honor of addressing this crowd, so many friends, so many people levin will working on these issues for such a long time, on clean energy, on climate. the range of issues on which we agree and to push us and make sure that we are thinking of all the ingalls and considering all the health and tomorrow mental impacts of our work. they are so broad that this time so it is just lovely to have a few minutes to address you here. i would be remiss if i didn't remind everyone of a couple of things. there are a bunch of people watching lisa. one is clearly frances and i am afraid to too, she is not to be trifled with but i also know i have some employees here. isi g mccarthy, extraordinary ahead of our office of air and aviation. [applause] barnhill i am grateful everyday, and i'm sure after a drink she
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is grateful too to have joined this. [laughter] any other epa folks? i know we have lots. thanks for coming. nice to see you. the second thing i want to talk to you for just a second is clean energy. and to say, listen thanks cora allowing me the opportunity to talk about why clean injury is simple a common sense. we need to get the word out so this is very timely messaging indeed that clean energy common common sense for our economy, common sense for national security, common sense for our environment for the future of our planet and for our children and four grandchildren. when you see north carolina going clean energy jobs at twice the rate of overall jobs for tennessee or iowa, growing clinch of set seven times the rate of the average or south dakota who managed to beat them
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all with 19 times the job growth in the clean energy sector than the overall job growth, we know it is common sense and good for our economy. win we see billions of dollars going to let the country's many of whom might not have our security interests at heart and every year see ourselves despite rhetoric after rhetoric, watching are increasing reliance on fossil fuels and on oil that comes from offshore, leave us vulnerable we know that energy and independence is a common-sense solution for our country and for national security. but for me most importantly when we see polluted air and dicey water that is literally in parts of our nation today making people sick, and when we experience six historic drought sword my beloved hometown her in this historic flooding we know that clean energy is just pure common sense for our environment for reducing climate pollution,
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reducing other pollution and confronting once and for all the threat of climate change to our climate-- planet. some people may think it makes sense to stick with the status quo and i will bet frances is like to have something to say about that. there's a lot of talk of simply ramping of our existing supplies that we have been down that path before and i ask us all to remember it. in 20001 we saw an energy plan focused on fossil fuels. supporters of the plan said lower costs for consumers? it would lower costs for businesses and it would too reduce their growing dependence on foreign oil. but here today we know that plan did not work. it didn't work for our security and it didn't work for businesses. it did not work for our environment and it certainly hasn't worked from the standpoint of jobs. by 2006 crude-oil prices were up 143%. gas prices have gone up 71%. natural gas was 46% more
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expensive than dependence on foreign oil had increased 65% and that is not counting the 4-dollar a gallon gasoline we saw just over a year ago. simply increasing our domestic fuels does nothing to reduce air pollution. we won't help the millions of american children like my own who suffer from asthma. ikhwan bilal our smokes club cities to finally breathe easier nor will it do anything to reduce the prevalence of cancer and other diseases that are increasingly linked to burning fossil fuels so i ask you all to please their the two options that we have. on the one hand the 30 burning fuel supply has got more expensive. his damage the health of our kids. it is damaged our communities. this resulted in millions of american dollars going overseas each year rather than keeping money here in our own economy. on the other hand clean energy
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has created jobs. as market share has grown, as technology has progressed the cost of clean energy has and will continue to decrease and his foot is on the strong course towards improving our national security, are sustainability and economic competitiveness. in broad terms clean energy jobs are up and clean energy costs are down. while fossil fuel costs are up and the money we pay for that fuel is increasingly sent to other countries. the question for me i think now is which of these two paths that so clearly like the forest and we want to follow? i thank each of you for the work you've done in eliminating those paths and in helping us make that choice. we have much work yet to do and i know you will be pushing us on. thank so much. [applause] they didn't tell me i would have
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the honor of introducing a woman who i now can call friend. there are many things you do when you find that you might actually be named as the next administrator of the epa and one of them you do is call the head of the nrdc. it would be crazy not to but what i found when i spoke to her and it wasn't my first time was not only personal warmth and a professional level of support as a sister and as a friend but a voice that i could turn to just for some common sense ideas and a constant supply of support in energy so ladies and gentleman i give you author, frances beinecke. [applause] >> thank you so much alizee and i just want to say that we are so privileged at nrdc and in the nation to have epa it
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administrative who is so committed to protecting the environment, to ensuring that citizens all across the country are fairly treated to a healthy air, water, food and who, those who have suffered particularly from disproportionate impact over the years from lack of environmental quality are so high on her agenda. so i am a huge admirer of lisa jackson, also a friend but so grateful that the president has appointed somebody who, for helm environmental protection is the mission of her life, who will do everything in her power to ensure that the future of this country in the well-being of our citizens are protected going forward, so she is a total champ and we are so lucky to have her as part of the environmental future of this country and also here with us tonight. i also want to thank all of my colleagues and friends from nrdc
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and from the environmental community from the hill, from all of the agencies who are here because this book, "clean energy common sense" is really an endeavor for all of us. this is a product of my career but the career of everybody in this room because we are linked in our efforts to advance environmental protection, chance solutions to climate change and insure that we do have a clean energy future that does make common sense for the country, one that does create jobs in this country, that addresses security insur that our carbon emissions declined. that is the purpose of the buck. the reason and i have to thank bob deans because he told you the schedule and there would be no book without that partnership. he has been an amazing collie to work with on this bill bleak really want to have a book that could talk to the american public and here in this room i am with people who work on this issue every day who are
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passionate about it and you have studied it in great detail and great depth and no more than anyone i can assure you. the fact is that is not true across the country and i travel across the country and their people each and every day to continue to be insured. they are skeptics. just last week i was in chicago speaking at the economics club with john roe from exelon, 250 people there in the first question was i don't believe this signs is there. i was at a dinner party in the bronx, the same question. this is really true so it is true. we know that the sciences and people need to know what the science case is from authoritative sources. the purpose of the book was really to present a short readed on the plane, pick it up at the airport come up put it in your pocket and get the full story that the signs case is than that they are serious impacts
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occurring, that there ecological impacts. there are serious humanitarian impacts. as a humanitarian crisis as well as an informant a crisis, that the security authorities from the cia to the pentagon have this high on the agenda, that these are issues we must address and we must address them now. then the other part of the book which is really important if they get through that part is they really are solutions and that is what we are working on here in washington every single day. we know what the solutions are. they are available now. we need to put them in place and we need to help actually across america to do it so in the end it is a call to action. we want people across the country to participate with us and we want them to feel they understand the issues so by picking up the book, reading through it we are hoping that they will take action and really call on their senators and their elected officials to finally get this on a trajectory that reduces carbon emissions, that
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treats a clean energy economy for this country that unleashes a tremendous opportunity for american workers across the country. lisa and i brin gary indiana with the steelworkers at a rally. when you go to that part of the country you really feel the loss in jobs. you want to be sure and do everything in our power to make sure that these jobs are real and that they are available in we unleash them as quickly as possible. so that it says to the competitiveness issue because it is not only in the jena where there's a lot of eagerness to unleash clean energy. you can see that it is happening there and i want it to happen here so that we are the leaders around the world and we really set the pace for how we move to a low-carbon economy that takes is done a very different road and that protect the planet and all the planet systems and all the planets-- in the process.
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i want to thank you for being here. i would be happy to sign any books that anybody wants me to but more than anything that want to thank you all for the work you are doing on behalf of the planet because the point of this issue is it is so broad across sectors and it will take all of us and we are going to on the right passo thank you all very much. enjoy the evening and thank you for being here. [applause] >> thank you so much. you are my hero. look at this. we are already played up on the charts. eisenback fantastic? how did you know? >> no work was done in our office today. everyone was just going to a amazon. >> i don't know quite how to find it but that is really fun, right? we will do more projects.
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>> definitely to more projects. this is our publisher. >> marcus, thank you so much. this is a great partnership. it is fantastic. i just said that, let's do some more because we want to get out there and talk more broadly into actually have it published in out in the marketplace and be our product puts enormous credibility on it and the fact it becomes marketable and it is actually moving up the charts, that gives an endorsement of what the topic is, so you guys guessed right. thank you. thank you. >> thank you. >> i don't know if we can do anything quite so quickly again. someone take a picture. these are publishers. get the publishers.
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without them there would be no book. >> head of manufacturing, stephen driver. he is the one the got the plan schedule. >> great, great. i appreciate that. you really went on overdrive. often.en do you do things that >> it is fun when we do. it is fun to see it all come together. >> it looks so good. thank you for could did you guys do the design? >> yes. >> really nice. >> bach talked about the concept. >> bob had a great concept. >> her name is on the back. she did the c design. >> great. nice. >> the interior was mine. there is a lot of people who put this together. >> this was a portion of the booktv program. you can view the entire program
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and many other booktv programs on line. go to, type the name of the author or buchan to the search area in the upper left-hand corner of the page. select the "watch link." now you can view the entire program. you might also explore the "recently on booktv" box or the featured video box to find recent and featured programs. >> abigail adams had to remind john adams to remember the ladies when creating a new government. d'alene madison habte think yerger once shai husband james. this weekend on after words the intimate lives of the founding fathers. thomas fng profiles of women who played a central part in creating our country. part of this weekend's booktv on c-span2. >> it is a name that might be familiar to cable news watchers.
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she has just written a new novel, kiss the sky. farai chideya why a novel? >> well, i am someone who is a creature of imagination. i love books and when i started reading is a kid i was reading science fiction and fantasy. i was reading things like the rain trilogy and the only got into journalism later. i mean i was sort of asked, forced to read the newspaper and i've love journalism but part of me has always wanted to write a novel and it is about the music industry which actually covered for a while. >> you have written a couple of nonfiction's. >> risen three non-fiction books, don't believe the hype, the color of our future and trust so they are about politics, race, a very serious. this one has serious names but it is about the influence of pop culture and our lives and also about our ability to transform ourselves when we make stupid decisions. it is about a plowmen who is too smart to make dumb decisions but
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she keeps doing it. >> which are more fun to write, the nonfiction are the function? >> i find the non-fiction much easier to write because when you are a reporter, which i am you get faxon those facts become the building blocks of your book where is when your are a fiction writer you have a swirl of chaos in your head. you have characters drifting in and out of your brain and then you have to take that and write it in a way that is structured so i found myself towards the end of the book, it is written in 90 chapters spread cheating the entire book. i spread sheet the book, the characters, what happened. i got ferry scientific towards the end of it because it was so chaotic at the beginning. >> what is today jot? >> i'm now working at wnyc. i do a series for them, multimedia series about the values, what matters more than money? in these tough times we think
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about money but we have to think about things like giving back to people, the future and so it is profiling people, some of them famous, some of them not famous to have made the choices about how to live their lives, what to do for money usually taking less money to pursue the project like ebitda arts or environmentalism, religion but i am also developing a new show which i can't talk to much about yet but developing in the public radio show and it will have a musical guest. i will reveal that. it will be a new show with a musical guest in the end because why not? >> dms the daily writing of journalism, print journalism? >> i am someone who is also working on a new nonfiction book about the millennial generation and the political coming of age, so i am someone to overtime has come i don't crave being in front of the mic daily as much
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as i used to because i need time to organize these other projects like the book i'm talking about, the non-fiction one is a plan for 2012 so i am planning way in advance because any to do my reporting and i need to do my research you know, so i want to do weekly show so i can pace myself with these tiffan projects. butter read the newspaper every day and i watch tv. at watts >> farai chideya with their first novel, kiss the sky.
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military historian patrick dama recounts the undercover mission of american spies to cut of the nazi supply route known as the during world war ii. the army-navy club in washington d.c. hosts this 50 minute event. [applause] >> thank you for having me here tonight. it is really an honor to be at the army-navy club, one of my favorite places to go. the library here is amazing. is one of the oldest libraries and washington d.c.. but the club and what i do is sort of intertwined. it


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